What Does a MERV 8 Filter Do?

MERV 8 pleated filters are made of 100% synthetic media to capture common air pollutants between 3 and 10 microns in size. These allergens include pollen, pet dander, lint, and dust mites. Upgrade to MERV 8 filters from your standard disposable filter at an economical price. A MERV 8 air filter is common in homes, commercial buildings, paint booths, and industrial workplaces. These filters are 90% efficient at trapping particles from 3 to 10 microns in size.

Based on the above-mentioned characteristics, a MERV 8 is considered a superior filtration compared to air filters with a lower MERV rating. But is filtration enough? In many cases, a MERV 8 air filter is more than adequate. However, if you are concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or pets in the house, then a higher MERV rating might be a good idea. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is an industry standard rating system established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). It measures the ability of an air filter to capture particles between 0.3 and 10 microns.

The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is at trapping particles. A MERV 8 filter is effective at capturing most indoor particles that can weaken people with asthma and allergies or even cause long-term respiratory problems. It can trap pollen, pet dander, lint, dust mites, and other particles between 3 and 10 microns. However, it cannot capture smaller particles like smoke or smog. If you are looking for better protection against airborne bacteria and viruses that spread through airborne droplets, then you should consider a MERV 11 filter. It can trap all the particles that a MERV 8 can plus pet dander, smoke, smog, and air from coughs and sneezes.

If someone in your home has an allergy or respiratory problem, then you should choose a MERV 11 or even a MERV 13 filter. Meanwhile, air filters with a MERV 14 rating or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the coarsest filter material. Using an air cleaner with a MERV rating that is too high can damage the compressor, heat exchanger, and air conditioner coil. It is important to remember that using the highest MERV rated filter in your home could restrict airflow and make it difficult for your HVAC to operate properly. That means things like pet dander, smoke, and some airborne bacteria are likely to pass through the MERV 8 filter. All air filters require regular cleaning and filter replacement to function properly. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance and replacement.

Learn more about why to choose a certain level of MERV based on the benefits you would like to see in indoor air quality and the capabilities of your HVAC system.